MOCA newsletter – October 2016

Hello MOCA members and almost members. It has now been a full year since we held our first AGM as part of the MOCA conference in Vancouver and quite a bit has happened over the last 12 months although not nearly enough for us to consider our nascent industry as mature or even on solid footing yet. This newsletter will provide the high points of what we have done, our hopes, aspirations and plans for things on the short list to do and a call for action for us to maintain the momentum.

The next official meeting for MOCA will be held in Rugao Jiangsu China this November 12th to 14th as part of the 50th anniversary of the China Magnesia Materials Association (CMMA). You are all invited and CMMA has generously offered to provide local transportation, hotel and food during the conference along with factory visits, I hope to see more than a few of us there as there are important issues to discuss and decide upon including:

• Advancing the MOCA standard as a precursor for a revised ASTM standard. We now have copies of the historic ASTM standards and have translated several of the Chinese JC688 standard test procedures.
• Formalizing the MOCA QA manual for manufacturers to follow when making MOCA stamped boards
• Cooperating with the manufacturers to develop a formal best practices manual for how the boards should be installed for various end uses.
• Deciding on a formula and method for MOCA to thrive and grow as the voice of MOC. This could be dues based, as a fee on orders placed to MOCA suppliers or a combination of them along with potential Government support with grants and subsidies and perhaps with sponsorship from Companies and individuals who would take a more active role in what we are attempting.

Mike VanGeyn and myself will be contacting all of our existing and potential members in order to collect this years’ dues and to gather any ideas on what we can do better and who is able and willing to help us not only drive this bus but to ensure that the MOCA bus also has the fuel necessary to continue the journey.

Recently, more accurately we are still experiencing claims due to a range of failures and board characteristics. All of our boards come from factories audited and certified by UL or Intertek. Over the last couple of years these have included:

1. Brittleness, delaminating, cracking and material degradation due to excess chlorides tested above 10% (which is even non compliant in China).
2. Excessive pin holes which have proven to be next to impossible to fill, these seem to be related to poor cement slurry causing out-gassing which forms the pin holes which seem to be a larger void below the surface than the pin hole on the surface.
3. Sloppy mesh application in the worse cases forming uneven surfaces. Mesh that is not equally tensioned both directions will reduce bending and tensile strength
4. Poor thickness control resulting in sanded back product with the mesh sanded through and rolled back with a thickness variance close to 2mm
5. Edge thinning, the factory edge being 1mm thinner than the rest of the board
6. Excessive moisture content as measured with oven dry testing. Excessive moisture can be related to the climate through equalization but also occurs when boards are poly wrapped and shipped before they are fully cured, which takes a few weeks at best.
7. Moisture movement particularly shrinkage of up to 3mm over 1220 mm. This should be related to moisture but perhaps not. Boards that are a year old and stored inside have shrank on several projects once installed. We still do not fully understand this shrinkage phenomenon.
8. Cracking and breakage that we do not understand, our last set of 15mm samples, shipped in a solid wood box arrived broken in 2 pieces. We have had one MagO Cladding panel separate by 3mm apparently due to tension but as these panels are attached with a clip, no direct screwing, and the panels to either side are not affected perhaps there is something else at play, internal stress perhaps.
9. Warping, panels in the lifts exhibit spaces between the boards even with full lifts stacked on top meaning thousands of pounds of force is still not able to make the boards sit flat. For us this makes it very challenging to have the vacuum hold down on our CNC work.

Some buyers claim that they do not experience these issues and it is conceivable that some manufacturers do a better job but it is also likely that when used as backer boards people just do not get to see these issues develop and with SIP manufactures there is a lot of redundancy in the assembly and poor quality boards can be removed from the production process. When distributing boards to clients for wall board applications we do not have this benefit and a failure rate of 5% is unacceptable to most contractors and building owners.

What we have been doing about the quality issues is related to what we are doing for increased market acceptance, getting appropriate standards put in place. We have been able to secure copies of the historic ASTM standards which detail the reaction of MOC ingredients and the resultant stability of the matrix. We have also translated the existing Chinese standards both JC688 and GC414 along with several of the related test procedures. More work needs to be done comparing these approaches and compiling the MOCA standard using the very best science available. As MOCA is now a voting member of the ASTM C17 committee, we are well positioned to having a robust standard in place in the foreseeable future. The next ASTM meeting is this December in Orlando, additional members will be help us as we form the MOC sub-committee and provide the empirical and anecdotal evidence necessary to do this job right.

A question was recently asked of me by one of our suppliers as to what results would be acceptable for us when testing boards to JC688, a process which has become standard procedure for us. I was unable to provide a definitive response as we just do not know exactly which test and result will provide boards suitable for this or that end use. What is the maximum allowable amount of total chlorides, moisture content etc.

It has become very clear to us that factories in China do not fully understand their products, how they should be used and how to test for best results. Very few of them even use their products in their own factories and offices so they do not see what happens when the boards are installed. This needs to change and will be one of the main points we will push in Rugao.

Over the last few months we have also elicited the support of Jeimei Magnesium Oxide Institute. Mr Zhu the principal used to head the research department at Shandong Academy of Building Science and has worked on these materials for many years. Jiemei conducts 20 tests as a standard process for their clients which is a good step in the right direction but still not enough. All potential MOCA boards are now tested by Jiemei as well as the CMMA accredited lab along with any in-house testing and these test results compared to show conformity and consistency. Based on this process we have just refused to accept several containers recently made for us.

How we can proceed is directly related to the resources that are made available to us. We now have close to 20 paid up members and a few of us willing and able to perform the work necessary for us to succeed. We need more help please. The dues for the next year will remain at US$500 with an invitation for corporate members and those who can to sponsor MOCA as MagO has done to the tune of $20,000 over this last year. Reaching out to potential members and getting them to sign up would be a great help and thanks to all of those who have done this.

The plan in Rugao is to use our experiences and those of others in the industry who have had to deal with poorly made board to pressure and entice the right minded and capable manufacturers to step up their game. It is not sufficient to have the factory audited, the boards sampled and certified test results published on the Intertek website. It is not sufficient to have each production run sampled multiple times (we are still not sure this is even being done) and it is not sufficient to rely on third party labs to sample and test boards after they have cured. In addition to these existing requirements we will pressure the manufacturers into learning more about their products in real life assemblies, to either provide or support the development of the Best Practices installation and handling procedures and to provide insurance or claim relief for when boards that are properly installed fail. In order for this to work the manufacturers need to determine which end use they will formulate and test their boards for.
The only way we have any chance for this to succeed is to have a group of members who agree with this plan and who will order their boards through MOCA providing sufficient leverage and enticement for them to do things right while at the same time

We also need to agree on what is the right thing to do and your input is requested on this part.

With the MOCA supply chain in place and working and the ASTM standard revised and published it will be much easier to develop and grow sales and marketing. It is incredible how many requests MOCA now receives based primarily on our very basic web site and some of the outreach we have managed this last year. There is no doubt that with good and reliable products in hand our industry and markets will eagerly accept these products not only for the limited range of uses permitted now but widespread use as interior and exterior wall boards, structural sheathing, fire assemblies and more. MOCA has aligned with American Wall and Ceiling Institute and are now part of their technical committees work, Structural Insulated Panel Association is working towards offering MgO skins as a main stream alternative to OSB, the Light Gauge Steel Association is willing to add MgO boards to their supported products. All of these initiatives have started but need additional work and support for them to return the benefits that increased awareness of and resultant sales of MgO products will bring to all of us.

We truly need the input and assistance of our members for MOCA to grow and thrive which will in turn increase business opportunities for all. We desperately need a part time administrator which would allow us to provide more value and complete projects sooner.

Thank you all for participating and taking a chance on MOCA.

Peter Francis 






Peter Francis



Mike VanGeyn



Liang Zhi (Michelle)



Wang Xing Wen


86 13705284570

Jane Miller

Allstar Panels


Grant Sobush

Rethinking Construction


Riccardo DeSantis



Kavinder Dhillon



Jerry Rademan

Premier Magnesia


Mark Shand

Premier Magnesia


Futong Cui

Fire Retardant Chem Tech


Claudio Manissiero



Ken Hanasyk

Mag Wall


Ken Krantz



Jerry  Gillman

Innova Eco


Rodrigo Vera

TrueBlack (Green E board)


Corey Nigh



Al Korchinski

Ward Chemical


Wayne Zhang




Potential members:

Mike Poellinger

Poellinger Inc


Yoga Yogendran

AYO Smart Home


Walter Marrero


Judd Hamilton

Ceramic Cement Corp


Peter Ma


Luis Garcia

Eco Prefabricados



Green Quality Testing Lab


Craig Starke


450-479-8341 (221)

Martin Milner

Milner & Associates


Dilip Shah

NRD Industries


Steve Bronnum



Matt Burger

Lemonde Partners


John Bramble

Advanced Commercial Roofing Corp


Hanie Taheri

Hamayesh Ray Afzar


Eric Mueller



Richard Sproul



Vince Mancini

Chicago Flameproof



Smart Home Ontario


Greg Flavall

Hemp Technologies



Associate members, researchers


Fitsum Tariku



Alexander Salenikovich

Laval University


Ian Power



Greg Dipple



Cristine Zanotti



Sergey Lobanov



Wendy Ying Simpson









Associated associations:


Jack Armstrong



Steve Etkin









CMMA speech

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is good to be back in China with our friends at CMMA for the prestigious event. Success and good wishes to all CMMA members for the next 50 years. This is also the 2nd anniversary for MOCA our Magnesium Oxide Cement Association and I am pleased to say that MOCA has had a very positive year developing awareness, standards and increasing our knowledge base of these remarkable materials.

MOCA now has members from 5 countries including China and here with us now are Dr Mohammed Hussein from Saudi Arabia, Ken Krantz from USA, Wendy Ying and myself from Canada. MOCA is well on the path to becoming a certifying mark that will be recognized in North America by code officials and design professionals as representing boards that meet the highest quality standards with proven consistency that are tested and certified. We invite any of you who are interested in developing a globally recognized quality standard to join us, Linjing and Lu Wenjie can help you with this.

Here is a brief overview of our accomplishments over the last year or so.

• September 2015 we hosted the first MOCA / CMMA conference in Vancouver where the MOCA standard got its start.
• December 2015 I attended the CMMA conference Chengdu.
• January 2016 MOCA supported Terasun at its booth at the IBS show in Las Vegas where we had good opportunities to discuss code standards with the International Code Council.
• February MOCA managed a booth at the Globe Conference in Vancouver on all things sustainable.
• March saw me back in China for a MOCA standard meeting held in ___________
• April took MOCA to Purerto Rico where we were invited to provide information to the members of the Structural Insulated Panel Association. Most SIPA members press panels using OSB skins but there is a strong interest in making panels with MgO skins as a fully certified and approved option. MOCA is working on developing structural testing so our boards can be used to provide lateral and transverse strength to the buildings they construct.
• April was also the time of the American Wall and Ceiling Institute AGM held in New Orleans where both CMMA and MOCA held high level meetings necessary for the adoption of MgO boards by the major drywall installation contractors and resellers. We were successful in getting MgO boards into the AWCI technical committee where the long process of developing the standards and best practices will be supported. AWCI is over 110 years old and is the voice of all major drywall contractors and suppliers, well over 1500 members.
• June of this year saw me at the standards committee meetings for ASTM, the American Society of Testing Materials. In most of the world including China ASTM standards are seen as one of the most trustworthy and robust standards commonly referenced by code officials and designers. Becoming a voting member of this association was a major goal of MOCA, one I am happy to see become fulfilled in our first year. Much work still needs to be done before we can present a complete draft standard which will be based in a large part on existing Chinese standards which we have been translating into English.
• The next meeting for ASTM is in December in Orlando, there are opportunities for some of you to become more involved. Please contact Linjing or Wenjie about this.

There is still a long way to go, we still have a lot to learn about these materials and very important the best ways to used them in North American construction. We have been severely hampered by lack of funds to compete the research and have continued to suffer from claims that are sometimes related to poor quality and sometimes to how the boards shrink or expand. In North America it is up to each manufacturer to provide complete instructions on how to handle and install each product, ensure that the products are tested for the specific use they are recommended for and to stand behind the products if and when they fail. This is not easy but is very necessary for becoming a widely used material in our market place.

Anyone who is interested in more information we will be holding a follow on meeting in room ________

There are now 3 credible companies in North America getting ready to make boards, this is an enormous market though big enough for all once the all important tests, certifications and quality management are all in place.

Thank you for listening.

Over and out